Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have sent reinforcements to the country’s protest-hit Kurdish areas in order to stop the infiltration of “terrorists” from neighboring Iraq, a general said in a report on Friday.
Tehran told the United Nations on Thursday that it had no choice but to act in self-defense by striking Kurdish rebel groups in Iraq, which it accuses of stoking protests back home over the death of Iranian Kurdish woman Mahsa Amini.
The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has launched missile and drone strikes on the bases of armed groups in northern Iraq twice in recent days, according to Iranian media reports.
“Armoured units and special forces of the Revolutionary Guards army are moving to the western and northwestern borders of the country,” General Mohammad Pakpour, who heads the Guards’ land forces, was quoted as saying by the Tasnim news agency.
“This movement of ground forces aims to strengthen the units located on the border and prevent the infiltration of terrorists affiliated with separatist groups operating in Iraq’s northern region,” he said.
On Tuesday, Pakpour had advised residents near “the bases of terrorist groups to evacuate in order to avoid injury during the operations of the Guards,” the ideological arm of Iran’s military.
Kurdish groups from Iran have long inhabited areas of northern Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region, previously waging an armed insurrection against the Islamic republic.
Iran has repeatedly accused them of fomenting nationwide unrest that flared after Amini died in custody on September 16, following her arrest in Tehran for an alleged breach of the country’s dress code for women.